About Apple ThunderBolt I/O DevicesOver the years Macintosh users have seen many types of computer peripheral IO interfaces come and go. Some have endured for decades, other's quickly relegated to the dustbin of computing history. Many of Apple's proprietary ports gave way to more industry standard ones. But new ones appeared just as quickly.
ThunderBolt Is Different - Here's WhyAdvancing computer technology DEMANDS change. ThunderBolt was designed from the get-go to be able to scale-up and be ready for highly intensive data transfers well into the foreseeable future and simplify connectivity for nearly any kind of computing device or peripheral. TV's, LCD monitors, keyboards, tablets, cell phones, printers, scanners, headphones, speakers, trackpads, microphones -- All can standardize on ThunderBolt 3's Type-C connection and it won't matter if it's a ThunderBolt or USB-C device at the end of it, since ThunderBolt 3 can 'tunnel' USB protocols through a ThunderBolt connection.
Apple And Intel's ThunderBolt PartnershipIntel and Apple planned ThunderBolt's architecture together. As we saw with 1st and 2nd generation ThunderBolt, the diminuitive DisplayPort physical port was adopted to avoid bulky connectors of the past and shrink it's footprint for ever slimmer, smaller and lighter computing devices. With ThunderBolt 3, we'll have to endure what will be perhaps ONE LAST CHANGE to a physical connector, but it will endure for more than a decade.
One Cable To Rule Them ALL : Type-CThe new reversible diminutive Type-C connection is architeched to be the SINGLE port and cable type for almost every computer, data, video, audio, printing, scanning, storage and display peripheral. ONE CABLE. ONE TYPE OF PORT. FOR EVERYTHING. And not just high-speed data. FOR POWER too as ThunderBolt 3's voltage and current levels are enough to power a large LCD display.
It may take years for technology manufacturer's to fully adopt the Type-C interface and update their products. The PC and Mac external backup drive market is already on the leading edge of shifting to the Type-C connector. With each progressive update cycle ONE CABLE for both data and power, supporting either USB-C or ThunderBolt 3 or both is the intended path. And you'll be glad it is. One cable for nearly any device: It's a great benefit to consumers.